Telangana docs go on silent boycott after child tests positive at Niloufer Hospital

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16 juniors doctors were exposed to a 3-year-old Covid-19 positive case at iconic hospital

Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad. (DC Photo)

Hyderabad: The Telangana Junior Doctors Association (T-JUDA) has called for a ‘silent boycott’ from duty starting March 31 after 16 junior doctors and post-graduate doctors were exposed to a three-year-old child who tested positive for Covid-19 at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad.

A total of 42 people who had come in contact with the young patient, including 18 children aged between 5 and 10 years, and eight attendants of patients, have bee put in quarantine. All of them were sent to Gandhi Hospital to take the coronavirus test after the child was confirmed positive.

The Covid-positive child was being treated in the general ward of Niloufer Hospital. There is no clarity as to how the child got the virus as both parents are asymptomatic.

According to sources, the parents may have either come in contact with a visitor from a Covid-affected country or it could have been a case of community transmission. The child was brought to the hospital four days ago with symptoms of cough and high fever and was admitted to the general ward, where there were more than 20 patients.

The Telangana Junior Doctors Association said hundreds of doctors are being exposed as they are working without N-95 masks and personal protection equipment.

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The incident at Niloufer Hospital has angered doctors, who demanded full protection. They are angry that despite assurances from the government that their protection would be taken care of, nothing has been done on that front.

“Exposing doctors will also expose thousands of patients who come to hospitals everyday,” a member of the association said. This could lead to another spurt in cases.

Niloufer Hospital is a public hospital. This incident could mark the first cluster transmission in a healthcare set-up in Hyderabad. Testing for the coronavirus Covid-19 takes time, and two tests are mandated before a person is declared positive. This resulted in four days being wasted.

It is estimated that there were 1,000 contacts during the course of those four days.

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